The best Alexa-Compatible devices for your smart home.
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Did you ever want a butler robot to run your house? Alexa is the closest you can have, considering that it continues to add skills, characteristics and equipment with which you can link it. From light switches to security cameras, we have selected the best Alexa-compatible devices through Echo devices.
Since the launch of the first Echo in 2015, Amazon has expanded the family with more devices, such as Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Plus. And although alone they are simply wireless speakers or smart displays, which can answer queries like Apple's Siri and Google Assistant, when you combine them with smart home devices, Alexa becomes powerful.
Amazon has also connected Alexa with a series of web services, to create a more holistic experience. And by joining brands like WeMo, Philips, Caseta and Lifx, Amazon created a system to control many aspects of your home with just your voice. To help you, we have compiled a list of the best Alexa-compatible devices so you can transform your home into a smart home. You should consider that Google canceled Alexa support for its smart devices, including Nest products, so you won't find any of them in this article. If Google and Amazon reach another agreement in the future, we will tell you, but this does not seem likely for now.
If you're going with everything to a smart home, you should definitely have a center or hub. These plastic boxes work with devices from manufacturers that operate with different protocols, such as ZigBee or Z-Wave. Yes, Alexa is a bit like a center, but there are some things you can't do. Pairing with the Samsung SmartThings, one of our favorite centers, can reinforce Alexa's capabilities. You can also opt for an Echo Plus 2, an Alexa device with a built-in Zigabee hub.
Other devices, such as padlocks or smart lights, necessarily require a center to work even with Alexa. In some cases, a center like Wink or SmartThings itself can act as a bridge, while allowing you to interact with other devices in the home. Although more and more manufacturers launch devices that do not require a center, having one will elevate your smart home experience.
LED lights are taking over the world and are one of the simplest ways to improve your home. Some require a hub, but others are screwed like a normal bulb. Most of them can be programmed to turn off at a certain time, so you know it is bedtime. But with the Alexa integration, you can ask them to turn them on again if you want to continue watching your favorite series on Netflix.
Philips Hue has one of the most versatile lighting systems. If you are looking for white bulbs (the initial kit costs about $ 60 dollars), colored or LED strip lights, there are a variety of options. The company also sells individual light bulbs. You will need a smart home center, which Philips sells separately, to control them. For an option without bridges, Lifx manufactures multicolored light bulbs, as well as tiles and strips.
It requires a little more effort (and perhaps an electrician), but dimmers or Lutron Caséta wall dimmers are a reliable way to turn the lights on or off and get different levels of intensity. You can do it all with Alexa voice commands and group them, so you don't have to turn them off individually. You need an intelligent bridge, which is included, for these bulbs to work.
Smart plugs are an excellent mechanism for converting unconnected devices into things that you can control remotely. If you have a lamp with a broken switch or if you just tend to leave it on, a plug connected can turn it off for you. Alexa support is especially nice because you can ask him to turn on your reading lamp without having to get up.
The Belkin Wemo Mini smart plug has a slim design, so you can place two in a single outlet. The application allows you to set schedules, and has IFTTT settings (if this happens, that happens) so that its capabilities are even more robust. Belkin also has a slightly more bulky Insight energy monitoring plug, which will show you the amount of electricity your appliances use.
Some of the best smart thermostats on the market are also compatible with Alexa. The Ecobee4, for example, has Alexa built into the unit for control and other Alexa-related capabilities, making it an ideal option if you don't have an Alexa device, but still want the voice assistant.
If you already have an Alexa device, you may prefer a temperature controller that works directly with them, such as Honeywell Lyric or Johnson’s Glas. Remember, the Nest thermostat and other Nest devices are no longer compatible with Alexa, so although they are popular, they are not an option in this case.
Smart locks are convenient for letting your dog walk in when you are not home. We recommend the August Smart Lock, which works with your current lock, so it is an excellent option if you need access to a place you have rented. If you are looking for an alternative with more functions and control, you can check the August Smart Lock Pro. If you want a smart lock with a more traditional appearance that also works with Alexa, we recommend the Schlage Sense lock.
Linking with Alexa allows you to check the status of the lock, open or close them only with voice commands. For Alexa to unlock the door requires that you issue a numerical password, that you will not want to shout it from outside your home.
One of the main reasons why people start acquiring smart devices for their home is security, so there are many security cameras that allow you to monitor your property. An advantage of Echo Show, Echo Spot or Amazon Fire TV is that they can show you images from the camera without having to take out your phone and open an application.
The Netgear Arlo Pro 2 kit is an affordable security camera that gives you access to a recording of the last seven days, night vision, weather-resistant options and a completely wireless installation for two smart cameras. Because it is one of the brands that works with Amazon devices, you can watch the video on their screens. Other security cameras that also do the same are the Amazon Cloud Cam, an excellent option for indoor bi-directional audio, and the Ring Spotlight Cam, a similar alternative designed for outdoor use.
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